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J Matthew Pearson wrote:
>
> Robert Hailman wrote:
>
> > Lars Henrik Mathiesen wrote:
> >
> > > Never fear, your friendly neighbourhod theorist will tell you that the
> > > singular is the underlying form --- which he knows because he writes
> > > it as -plural --- and thus unmarked, so that the universal holds.
> >
> > Good ol' theorists. Always proving their theories by using the theories
> > in question.
>
> What's with all this bashing of theorists?  As a theorist myself, should I take
> offense at this?

I was entirely joking. I like theories & theorists, personally.

> Linguistics is the only field I know where theoretical work--and even the idea that
> there should *be* theories--is routinely dismissed.  Nobody would seriously suggest
> that physicists or chemists or psychologists or economists should confine themselves
> to the collection of data and avoid positing theories to explain that data.  Why
> should linguistics be any different?  If you don't make theories, you're not doing
> science.  Isn't linguistics supposed to be a science?

As someone with no linguistic education, I'll spare your all any failed
attempt to answer this.

> Anyway--as somebody said the last time this issue came up--it's impossible to talk
> or think about language without assuming some sort of theoretical framework, however
> rudimentary.  Even everyday notions like noun, verb, clause, morpheme, singular &
> plural, etc., are theoretical constructs.

I agree with you entirely on this. I never got the theory-bashing
either.

> Sorry to respond to a couple light-hearted jabs with a serious rant, but sometimes
> the anti-theory bias on this list really gets to me.  I'll shut up now.

It's allright. It's good to hear a theorist's view on theorist-bashing.

--
Robert